Department of Invertebrate Paleontology Database Guide

Harry Filkorn

Table of Contents

General Contents
Access to the Database
How to Cite Information from the Database
Where did all of the LACMIP data come from?
Search the LACMIP Locality Register
What is a LACMIP locality?
The Search Fields
Results of Locality Searches
Search the LACMIP Specimen Catalog
What is a LACMIP specimen lot?
What is a LACMIP lot ID number?
Search for Lots
Results of Lot Searches

General Contents

This guide explains the terminology, data fields, search features and capabilities of the user's interface to the Department of Invertebrate Paleontology collections database on the world wide web at The current version of the database interface is composed of two main web pages or menu items:

  • 1) LACMIP Locality Register
  • 2) LACMIP Specimen Catalog

This guide describes the database search fields for both of these pages and specifies the entry requirements for each field.

Access to the Database

The three access levels for the collections database are: 1) Public, 2) Associate, and 3) Staff. The Public level is a read-only type of access. It provides locality and specimen search capabilities, but some of the locality information is limited in order to protect fossil-bearing areas from over-collecting. The Associate level was designed for the needs of professional paleontologists and other scientists and access is controlled by customized password from Kenneth G. Johnson, Assistant Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology ( This level provides increased access to the database, including the data entry pages for adding taxonomic information and for updating locality information. The Staff level is for the staff of the Department of Invertebrate Paleontology and it has the same functions as the Associate level except it is for on-site use only.

How to Cite Information from the Database

The use of database information, including specimen and locality data, in any other work or study should be acknowledged by citing the source as, for example: Johnson, K. G., and H. F. Filkorn. 2004. Collections Catalog of the Department of Invertebrate Paleontology, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. World wide web site at

Where did all of the LACMIP data come from?

The LACMIP database contains the locality and specimen records for the invertebrate paleontology collections that were acquired by the original Museum during the early 1900's. In addition to subsequent normal growth of these collections, in the 1980's the Natural History Museum accessioned the invertebrate paleontology collections of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), California Institute of Technology (CIT), and University of Southern California (USC). These large fossil collections were integrated into the LACMIP during the late 1980's and early 1990's. However, prior to the 1980's all of the information pertaining to the fossil localities and specimens was recorded on file cards and in archival paper registers. With the advent of computers, this information was transferred to electronic database programs. The most recent addition to the LACMIP is the invertebrate paleontology collection of California State University Northridge (CSUN) in 2002. The locality data for this newly acquired collection are now being entered into the LACMIP database.

The LACMIP also has acquired parts or all of the personal fossil collections of several professional and avocational paleontologists, including Charles R. Givens, Harold S. Meals, Christopher White, and Homer C. White.